1. SEPTEMBER 2014 MIXTAPE [MUSIC]

    The end of September is here, and we’re a little light this month. We’re good for it, though. We promise. Just have a listen below. Trust us. You’ll dig. If you like what you hear, click through to the artist’s Bandcamp to buy their stuff! To listen to the rest of our monthly mixtapes, check out the GB Bandcamp. Thanks to everyone involved this month!

     


  2. "LANCE ARMSTRONG" - EARL BOYKINS [MUSIC]

    Slowly but surely, the Gelatinous Blog is crawling through the seasons, and to help us kick off fall, we’ve got a song called “Lance Armstrong” by a band called Earl Boykins. Is that enough famous athletes for you?

    Earl Boykins is a tough act for me to peg. I listened to the single off of their upcoming EP (called Everybody Likes Dogs), and it sounded nothing like their last record FRIENDS. FRIENDS is a pretty thrashy, fast, punk record. The vocals are loud and raw, the riffs are more aggressive, and the progressions are much more tense. Judging by “Lance Armstrong”, Everybody Likes Dogs seems like it’ll be a much more turned down effort. The thrashy, hardcore approach seems like it has been traded in for janglier, poppier tunes — parts of it vaguely remind me of Gelatinous Blog veterans Neighbors or Couches. All in all, (and this is just me speaking personally) I’m hoping that my forecast is accurate — this new-look Earl Boykins resonates with me way more than their previous release.

    You’ll be able to get Everybody Likes Dogs on September 30th via Forged Artifacts (another cool label and a potential candidate for a "Labels We Love" column somewhere down the road). I’ve gotta say, I’m pretty in the dark on Earl Boykins. Frankly, I don’t know if they have any upcoming shows… hell, I don’t even know if they’re a “they” or if they’re just a “he”. Earl Boykins is a mystery! So, if you’re into that kind of stuff, go like them on Facebook or follow on Twitter @EarlBoykinsBand.

    "Lance Armstrong" immediately wins me over thanks to the jangly guitar tones. It opens with a couple repetitions of this riff, joined by some building toms, before it breaks into a full-fledged rendition of the progression, which features an awesome, understated synth pad (I’m assuming it’s a synth pad). That little touch is pretty War on Drugs, in my opinion. Adding the backing ohs and ahs during the second half of the verse is an awesome touch that keeps the verse from getting stale. The structure of "Lance Armstrong" is pretty innovative, and I’m a sucker for unorthodox structures. It essentially goes verse-hook-hook-instrumental bridge-verse. I particularly love what happens rhythmically during the "do you think that you are Lance Armstrong?" line — the way the drums mirror the vocals is an awesome technique. After listening to "Lance Armstrong", I’m pretty stoked to hear the rest of Everybody Likes Dogs. Luckily, it’ll be here next week. Can’t wait!

    You can find “Lance Armstrong” as well as the rest of this month’s featured tracks on the free download of the GB! September 2014 Mixtape, the latest in our monthly mixtape series. Come back and get it on September 30!

     


  3. LABELS WE LOVE - FATHER/DAUGHTER RECORDS [MUSIC]

    Although the major record labels still have a considerable amount of power in today’s music industry, the labels largely responsible for unearthing new talent and pushing music forward are independent labels. Unfortunately, thanks to the dime-a-dozen nature of them (and I’m not trying to undervalue them), it can be fairly daunting to try to immerse yourself in the world of indie labels. Have no fear, though — we’re trying a new monthly feature called “Labels We Love,” and we kick it off today by talking about Father/Daughter Records.

    My first exposure to Father/Daughter came through our feature earlier this year on Bent Shapes. Their record Feels Weird was released on Father/Daughter last year, and it’s a record that looks just as good as it sounds. While looking back through Father/Daughter’s catalog, I was pretty impressed to find that once upon a time they released stuff from Pure Bathing Culture, Oregon Bike Trails (who went on to become last summer’s pop sweethearts Cayucas), and a split from Mutual Benefit and Holy Spirits.

    What’s cool about Father/Daughter is that they spread the love. They’re not just focused on one sound or one genre, rather they care about putting out music they enjoy and they believe in. They’ve released tunes ranging from the ever-ethereal groove Saskatchewan to the feedback-immersed growl of Happy Diving to the hooky power-pop of Cocktails. Well, I guess these is one common thread amongst the acts on Father/Daughter — they’re all pretty fucking talented.

    You can stream some of my personal Father/Daughter favorites below. If you’re the social type, connect with them on Facebook and Twitter @father_daughter.

     


  4. EDDIE CHARLTON and MATT DRESSEN of LUBEC [INTERVIEW]

    Last night, Portland’s own Lubec played at Mississippi Studios to celebrate the release of their debut album The Thrall. I got a chance to sit down with half of the band last week over at The Hilt to have a couple beers and chat. Eddie, Matt, and I talked a bit about their new record, the evolution of the local music community as Portland grows, and our mutual admiration for the scene in Boston. You can read the interview below and check out Lubec’s tunes over at their Bandcamp.

    GB: So, you guys have just released your debut album.

    EC: Yeah, it’s called The Thrall. There’s also a song on it called “The Thrall”.

    Is it track 2?

    MD: It’s track 11.

    EC: Yeah, it’s the last track. Why? You like track 2?

    I don’t know. Track 2 is always “the one” — it’s always the strongest one to me.

    MD: Yeah we don’t wanna blow it too early. “The Thrall” is about how you feel when you summise everything you’ve been through. It fits as the last song.

    EC: I do agree with you about the track 2 thing — it’s pretty crucial.

    MD: We have a pretty killer track 2, it’s just not “The Thrall”.

    EC: We’re happy with our track 2.

    You aren’t originally from Portland, right? How long have you been in town?

    EC: We’ve all lived here for over three years at least. Matt’s been here for seven years at least. Certain ones of us have been involved in other bands at different times and have kind of seen Portland change, too.

    How has it changed?

    MD: There’s always been a pretty strong DIY-sense of doing things here, and there’s always been a bunch of styles that come and go, but one thing I notice now is that it’s a bit more inclusive. Bands are continously supporting each other and supporting the scene, whether it’s people working their tail off to keep certain venues alive or bands just reaching out and being supportive. I feel like I’m doing less competing when I’m out there, and it’s more like everyone pushing everyone and having a good time. But, yeah, I’ve watched it changed for sure. It seems like when something good is going on, it maybe doesn’t last that long, and something new pops up. Like the Record Room — that was a special place that was only around for a couple years.

    EC: For me, not having been here anywhere near as long, it has been cool to see some places pop up that I’ve been looking for all along, like The Hive, rest in peace. I loved that place. The Hive was interesting for me because that was one of the first places where I feel like I saw the whole life span of a venue play out. House venues always go through that process — they get too big and then you have to stop because you have neighbors and landlords and shit.

    MD: There’s been a tenuous relationship with house shows here, I think. You know, as the city grows, the idea of “here’s this place where these kids and pushing art and music,” it sounds really ideal, but the reality is that a lot of people don’t want to experience that or don’t support it if they’re not involved in that music scene. Like, we’re sitting here on Alberta Street where The Know is half a block down, and they’re forced to end all their shows by 11 because the neighborhood isn’t about the noise.

    EC: At this point, though, I don’t know if The Know is any louder than the 50 people in line at Salt & Straw across the street.

    I feel like it’s just a matter of time before The Know is gone. I wish it wasn’t like that, but if you look at that particular block, it’s like… there’s a Little Big Burger next door now.

    EC: Yeah! That’s exactly what we were just talking about.

    MD: The ice cream eaters won’t stand for it much longer. It’s a show for both parties. It’s like a living zoo because you’ve got all these folks you know don’t fucking live up on Alberta, but they’re all standing in line for their ice cream, and everyone at The Know is standing there watching them like, “Who the fuck are these people? C’mon, give me a break. Go back to Beaverton,” or whatever. And then they’re over there, conversely, waiting in line for their ice cream, in like khakis and shit, and they’re looking at the people outside The Know like, “Get it together. You’ve got be kidding me.” They’re saying the exact same thing about each other. We’re all watching each other, just like fucking confused.

    There was this discussion on Facebook about show pricing, and something came up about varied bills. I was going to ask if you’d rather play a show that’s cross-genre or within your genre, but I feel like that answer is pretty obvious — same genre, right?

    MD: Actually, I don’t think it’s that black and white. We play with our friends all the time and have rad shows and they may be more up our alley sound-wise, and then we’ve played those shows in like Olympia in a living room with bands that sound nothing like us and people are accepting it and having a rad time. It’s not keeping one sect of people away from the show or anything. For us, if there’s positive energy between the bands, that’s gonna come across the whoever is in the crowd, and if they’re having a good time, then… done deal. We’re having fun, they’re having fun, that’s what it’s all about.

    EC: I think for whatever reason, we’ve been a harder to peg band than some of the others in this town, and I think that’s a good thing in the long run, but it can also be a hurdle.

    MD: We’re not exactly a shoegaze band, we’re not exactly a garage band, and so we’ve used that to play with a bunch of different kinds of bands, whether they’re electronic musicians, or even like hardcore bands. In Portland, there are always so many bands playing all the time and so many places to play, but I think you would probably find that in any city where there’s a lot of musicians.

    I think Portland’s an odd case because it’s fairly small, but it feels like there’re as many bands as like… Chicago or Boston or something. And speaking of Boston, I wanted to ask about your connection to Boston.

    EC: It’s totally random. I write for Clicky Clicky [who are Boston-based], and the only reason I do is because the guy who runs it wrote about Lubec. I decided a couple years ago that I wanted to write for a music blog, so that was kind of my “in” since he already knew who I was. It’s been fascinating because I feel like I’ve watched a whole scene there that I’ve never even experienced, which is a very strange feeling.

    I imagine. You’re constantly hearing these names and listening to these bands, but you never get to see them.

    MD: It seems like Boston and Portland are like “sister cities” in the energy and what’s happening with music. You can draw some parallels.

    EC: It’s true, and the differences are really interesting, too. I feel like the Boston scene is not fashionable. Unlike Portland, there’s no element of fashion with the bands. They’re very like, “We wear white tee, jeans,” — it’s only about the musicianship. The superficial aspects of being in a band don’t seem to really apply there. I think Portland has an element of needing to have an image — Boston isn’t image-based at all. Probably because they’re all miserable, practical academics.

    For what it’s worth, I think Boston has the strongest DIY scene of all the cities in America.

    EC: I agree, and I think Boston is interesting because the bands that are the most popular in the town are the DIY bands, unlike Portland. Again, I think every city has different principles and standards that they factor in.

    MD: They don’t have “darlings” like we do here.

    EC: Yeah, Boston is like, “Show us your songs, fucking own them, rock the fuck out,” and that’s it. That’s all it takes. Which is why I love covering that city, because that’s ultimately what I want to write about — the music. I don’t want to factor in anything else. I don’t think anything else really matters.

     


  5. "COAST CRUISER" - GLEEMER [MUSIC]

    I don’t often write my posts on airplanes, but when I do, I feel like a total badass. I mean, what’s cooler than being crammed into a giant metal tube in the sky with hundreds of strangers? To be fair, a lot of shit is. I guess I’m not as cool as I thought I was. Either way, here’s music from Gleemer — the track is “Coast Cruiser”.

    I was put onto this Colorado indie pop outfit by my friend Travis over at Half Stop Sessions. We got to chatting about some of our favorite discoveries of the year, and he was quick to bring up Gleemer. The next day I went and listened to them, and their catchy brand of 80’s-influenced pop tunes won me over immediately. Their sound is simultaneously lo-fi and glossy, which is tough to imagine, but when you give it a listen, you’ll see what I mean. The drums are big and boomy, the guitars glisten, and the vocals are cold yet eerily intimate, double-tracked for the most part it seems. All in all, the name fits — Gleemer’s tunes really do gleam.

    Gleemer’s latest record is called Holyland USA, and it’s available digitally on their Bandcamp or in cassette form at Gold Flake Tapes (who consistently curate some great stuff, by the way — very worth keeping up with). If you’re into pictures, check out Gleemer’s Tumblr page. As always, you can keep up with all things Gleemer (tour dates, upcoming releases, etc) on Facebook, and you can follow them on Twitter @GleemerBand.

    My favorite track off of Holyland USA, “Coast Cruiser” wastes no time getting into it, jumping into the first verse almost immediately. The drum tones hooked me right away — I’m a sucker for 80’s pop music, and that’s all I hear when I hear big, processed drums like the ones Gleemer employs here. The general sound is fairly reminiscent of acts like Craft Spells or Wild Nothing, and this may be a stretch, but vocally it vaguelly brings up thoughts of Kal Marks. The guitar riff in this tune is particularly infectious — especially the little whammy action at the end. Although it’s short, clocking in at just under 2:30, “Coast Cruiser” is a sweet track, encompassing everything a pop track should be.

    You can find “Coast Cruiser” as well as the rest of this month’s featured tracks on the free download of the GB! September 2014 Mixtape, the latest in our monthly mixtape series. Come back and get it on September 30!